THIS WEEK: The weekly story of Detective Comics reaches its conclusion in Detective Comics #1058.
Note: the review below contains spoilers. If you want a quick, spoiler-free buy/pass recommendation on the comics in question, check out the bottom of the article for our final verdicts.
Detective Comics #1058
Writers: Mariko Tamaki and Matthew Rosenberg
Artist: Amancay Nahuelpan and Fernando Blanco
Colors: Jordie Bellaire
Letter: Ariana Maher and Rob Leigh
Cover: Irvin Rodriguez
“The Tower” was an ambitious endeavor, to tell a weekly story in a single Batman title over the course of three months. This is something that really hadn’t been done before, though there are some things that have been similar in scope. House of X/Powers of X and the recent X Lives/X Deaths of Wolverine The series were both weekly endeavors that were massive in scope, but neither of them launched from one of the primary ongoing titles, they were self-contained mini-series. Action Comics went weekly for about a year, but it wasn’t focused on one overarching story for the lead of the book, instead, Superman was on two pages for every issue. Spider-Man has done the weekly thing, but that wasn’t really to tell a singular story like this, but to publish as much Spider-Man as the market would allow. That was more like the Superman books of the Triangle Era, than an effort at telling a weekly story. DC did several weekly series in the mid-2000s, starting with 52 and going through Countdown to Final Crisis, but again those were their own series, and most of them had a cabal of writers. No, “The Tower” was a bold statement piece from a headline book.
More than that, not only is it an ambitious Batman story, but it’s one in which character didn’t appear until the very end, which worked to her favor. One of the biggest wins of this weekly series has been it’s pacing and the way that Tamaki teased out the mystery over the course of twelve issues. She was able to effectively tell an engaging detective story in a way that didn’t feel like it cheated to win against the reader. We had the clues the whole time, whether we put them together to come up with the solution was on us. Tamaki didn’t hide things from her readers, but she didn’t make the puzzle easy to solve either.
Indeed, I was surprised when it was revealed that Psycho Pirate was the catalyst, and then mad at myself for not putting it together on my own. Likewise, I was shocked when Batman showed up to rescue Nightwing, even though I should have expected him to show up at some point before the end of the story. Each week, Tamaki was able to drive the story further, teasing out little bits and pieces for the reader while at the same time leaving them eagerly waiting the next week’s issue.
Detective Comics #1058 serves as an epilog of sorts, with Deb Donovan really doing the work to set the status quo of the story’s end along with detailing what information the Batfamily allow the public to know about the events that go down. Notably, they keep Scarecrow’s involvement a secret, which is understandable since we had just had the big Scarecrow story leading into this. In all, this twelve-part story was well-done, and I am already looking forward to exactly how Chase Meridian moves Arkham Tower forward, and to the Riddler’s return in the next arc.
- Speaking of weekly stories, we’re now in week three of Trial of the Amazons, and this is a fantastic event by the whole Wonder Woman family of books. It’s nice to see each of them focus their spotlight on the stories that were important to their titles while also advancing the plot of the event. This is probably the best Wonder Woman event we’ve ever gotten.
- Rogues was a lot of fun, and completely not what I expected. I love the idea of a “One Last Heist” story featuring a dedicated team of supervillains. This is probably my favorite thing Joshua Williamson has written recently, though there is a lot of good work to choose from in that regard.
- Sure are a lot of parallels between how Tom King’s Guy Gardner behaves and how Kanye West is currently terrorizing Kim Kardashian, aren’t there? And yet, even as King makes his version of Gardner as slimy and sleazy as he can, that still doesn’t hold a candle to how his “hero” behaves in response. Utterly disappointed with the outcome of this issue.
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